Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Funding Week: Tuesday. On the Monster Spirea.

This is the week to fill my coffers with money.  You would smirk if you knew how little the total amount is that I need, how easily you could afford to help me reach it.

It is to you, my erudite and kind readers, that I turn to when I need my blogging expenses covered:  the need for a large-screen computer and an ergonomic keyboard, the fees I pay to get access to various data sources and the chocolate that fuels the work.

So please pay the piper.  If you are really low in money send praise instead.  Us divines like praise and prayer, right?  The PayPal button is in the left column.  My thanks!

In other news, I have been cleaning out the "gardens" I used to have before I became addicted to running this blog.  Here's a picture of how they once looked, with the bonus of two very loving dogs (Henrietta the Hound and Hank the Chocolate Lab, both now spirit dogs):

But this story is not about the dead gardens (for dead they are). 

It is a story about a small shrub, called Spirea japonica 'Shirobana'.  The shrub came with the house, so I didn't choose it.  But it never grew taller than three feet, never suffered from any pests of diseases, always bravely produced the ghastly combination of its flowers and in general behaved so well that I let it be despite those ghastly flowers.

And my reward for that?  Finding last summer that the shrub had sent suckers everywhere.  I had over one hundred baby Spireas (counted them while pulling them out) in what some might euphemistically call my lawn, and several fairly large teenager Spireas in the areas of the yard where the soil is good.

The time for a Spirea death sentence had arrived.  It shouldn't be too hard to dig up a shrub never reaching more than three feet in height, right?  Just get your spades and shovels and axes and root cutters all together and prepare for half an hour of arduous work.

Wrong.  The killing of the Spirea took almost a week and lots of helpers contributed.  That's because what was under the ground matched that sucker spread above the ground, not the size of the original parent bush. 

Some of the roots were thicker than my wrists, and however deep I dug I always found another layer of roots.   (You should have seen me work on it a few days ago, by the way, in a drizzling rain.  I had dirt smears all over my face and mud everywhere else because the shrub fought back so hard, making me fall on my butt several times.)

I still feel guilty about killing a perfectly healthy plant, indeed an energetic plant.  Maybe I should offer it to someone I dislike so that it can continue living?

Is this a metaphor about politics, you might ask, bored to the gills by this gardening lady story. 

Yup.  By the time you see some innocent-looking, well-groomed politician saying the most awful, ghastly things, the network supporting that person is already everywhere (school boards, local governments, think tanks).